(a) (1) During the kindergarten year or upon first enrollment or entry in a California school district of a pupil at an elementary school, and in grades 2, 5, and 8, the pupil’s vision shall be appraised by the school nurse or other authorized person under Section 49452.
(2) A pupil whose first enrollment or entry occurs in grade 4 or 7 shall not be required to be appraised in the year immediately following the pupil’s first enrollment or entry.
(b) The appraisal shall include tests for visual acuity, including near vision, and color vision; however, color vision shall be appraised once and only on male pupils, and the results of the appraisal shall be entered in the health record of the pupil. Color vision appraisal need not begin until the male pupil has reached the first grade.
(c) The appraisal may be waived, if the pupil’s parents so desire, by their presenting of a certificate from a physician and surgeon, a physician assistant practicing in compliance with Chapter 7.7 (commencing with Section 3500) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, or an optometrist setting out the results of a determination of the pupil’s vision, including visual acuity and color vision.
(d) A pupil’s vision may be appraised by using an eye chart or any other scientifically validated photoscreening test. Photoscreening tests shall be performed, under an agreement with, or the supervision of, an optometrist or ophthalmologist, by the school nurse or a trained individual who meets requirements established by the department.
(e) Continual and regular observation of the pupil’s eyes, appearance, behavior, visual performance, and perception that may indicate vision difficulties shall be done by the school nurse and the classroom teacher.
(f) This section shall not apply to a pupil whose parents or guardian file with the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolling, a statement in writing that they adhere to the faith or teachings of any well-recognized religious sect, denomination, or organization and in accordance with its creed, tenets, or principles depend for healing upon prayer in the practice of their religion.
(g) The department shall adopt guidelines to implement this section, including training requirements and a method of testing for near vision.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 925, Sec. 2.5. (SB 1172) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018